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Review of Elaine Feinstein's Cities - Keith Richmond, Tribune, 8th October 2010

Few poets are as successful as Elaine Feinstein at turning the personal into the professional; at making art out of biography and transforming the individual into the universal. Migrations and Cambridge (1949) are perfect examples of how to turn the specific into the general and writing in Warsaw (1973) she reflects on 'Wajda's city of ashes and diamonds, where/ a fairground wheel once turned / to carnival music while the ghetto burned.' The observations and images are exciting and fresh - 'The pin is loose that holds the climbing rose./ It crackles on the glass' - as she longs for Paris and 'Edith Piaf, and the songs he chose, of failed / loves, loneliness, poverty.' But there is darkness in the heart here, and a seriousness of purpose. 'The Chelsea charges writers a low rent since / Dylan Thomas died there in his dreams. / The walls are three foot thick, we are assured, / so you won't be disturbed  / by loud music. Or screams. '

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